Remembering Molly 20 years on


Cornwall , UK
Twenty years ago , we heard about a rescue that was about to close due to lack of funds , it was primarily for German Shepherd dogs . We had a pub/hotel in coastal Cornwall at the time and owned two dogs and decided to go and see the place for ourselves . It was awful , the dogs were in very small filthy kennels , looking unkempt and unhappy . One dog took our eye , a young beautiful bitch and so with no home check, they let us take her home there and then , she was about nine months old and we called her Molly . We didn't have much background on her , but gathered that she had spent all of her short life tethered as a guard dog .
Molly took to me immediately but hated our other dogs . Debbie and her family were living with us at the time and she adored the young children but not the parents !
We battled for three months , and boy it was a battle . Molly had real aggression issues and was indiscriminate in her targets which posed a massive problem given our hotel . I had to take her out each morning at around 5.a.m. as I couldn't risk her coming across a stranger , and then again late at night, but she was an enormous liability to us , we had some close shaves . One day, for absolutely no reason , she attacked our twelve year old terrier, shaking him like a rag doll and piercing his windpipe , he needed emergency surgery and we realised that this could not continue . I adored her and she loved me too , but we knew that to try and rehome her would be wrong , we would be passing on a dangerous dog . I got in touch with the Defence Animal Training Centre at Melton Mowbray and had several conversations with them about Molly . A few weeks later , the van arrived but first she had to have an initial assessment with the training officer who had come . We were told to leave them alone together in our private garden for an hour , and not to interrupt or even be seen .
Molly left that day , she walked proudly on her lead to the van , she never looked back whilst we were in bits . It had been pre arranged that we give them a disposable camera , and they promised to send photos and regular updates by phone , as this was before the time that digital photography was widely available . The officer told us that we were saving her life , because of her temperament she could never be rehomed and that she would relish her training .
Fast forward , she became Airdog Molly, passed with flying colours and adored her handler Danny and was to become a valuable member of the R.A.F . We received an album , showing Molly in training and then sitting proudly on a podium with Danny in his uniform .
At this point, we were to receive no further communication , which was awful but understandable too .
I did feel like I had failed Molly, but was reassured by the Defence Animal Training manager that we had not failed her, we had given her a life to be lived without fear .
We felt very proud to have played a small part in her rehab and I still think of her to this day , I hope she had a life well lived xxxx


Biscuit Tin Guardian
That's a lovely story Kate.Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm certain that Molly went on to have a life well lived, which she probably would not have had without your brave and kind decision.:hug:
Wow Kate. You should never have felt guilty and you certainly didn't fail Molly. You saved her and was then wise enough to realise she needed a different life to the one you could give her. A life in which she could succeed, in which the temperament which would be seen as a problem in a family home environment could be harnessed and developed. The DAT manager was right you gave her a life to be lived.